Blog :: 04-2008

The Right Time to Buy

I recently went to a meeting attended by a number of successful real estate broker owners. I found it interesting the conversation we had about the market. The national media would have us all think thatour local market is all doom and gloom, when in fact things are moving quite well. Just like there is not a national weather forecast, there is not a national real estate forecast either. All real estate is local. Our market right now in Chittenden and Franklin Counties are doing quite well. If you are looking to time the market, I would suggest you wait no longer. Inventory is good, interest rates are still very good, and there is less competition to outbid you on the home that you want. If I was thinking about moving, I would be doing it now, cause it might not get any better than it is right now.

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    Financial Intelligence

    I have read a number of very good books over the years about money management and how things can work out extremely good or extremely poor for some people. With these books there is always an underlying theme, and that is for those individuals that live below their means who have a savings, and investment plan they will almost 100% of the time come out on top. Those individuals who do not keep track of their income and expenses on a consistant basis, have a tendancy to over estimate what they have and underestimate how much they spend on a day to day basis on things that do not increase in value. There are so many great authors and ideas out there on how you can reach your financial goals, unfortunately, people read these books and don't take action to remedy their situation. In today's economy it is more important than ever to have an emergency fund and a written plan of attack on how you are going to spend less than you make. Without taking the necessary steps today, you will never be able to gain ground for the future. People are overall intelligent but when it comes to financial intelligence, everyone needs to take a good long inventory of what they are doing, and how it is working for them. If it's not working, maybe you might want to consider changing your habits or getting some new ones.

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      It feels like Florida

      Yes we have finally hit the weather jackpot today and this past week. The temperature has to be near 75 today and sunny. I think the weatherman said that we are about 20 degrees higher than the normal temperature for this time of year. It feels incredible. Everyone is in a good mood and I wore shorts to work today for the second time this year. I love the warm weather and everthing that comes with it. The birds, the green grass, baseball and the ability to wear short-sleeve shirts and not being cold. Life is good.

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        Birds of a Feather

        Yesterday I was outside on my deck whenI thoughtI heard something fall out of a tree. I turned around and saw a bird on the ground. I waited for a second and he was trying to fly but couldn't. he looked like he was caught in a branch. I snuck over and sure enough his leg was entwined in some type of string and it was wrapped around the branch. It looked like his leg was broken. My wife was with me and I asked her to call an animal control person to help us out; because I didn't want to hurt the bird. We talked to a volunteer with a group called "Animal Defender". She couldn't come out but told us what we had to do to get the bird to her. We used a towel to cover him up and we gently lifted him out and cut as much twine off as we could. We put him in a box and drove him 4 miles to her house. When we got there the lady gently takes him out of the box and proceeds to inspect him and continues cutting the tightly wrapped line off his leg. She thought that he seemed to be faring pretty well considering the circumstances and she said she was pretty sure she could nurse him back to good health, because it didn't appear that his wing was broken. We got a call this morning from this wonderful lady who said she had gotten the line unwrapped from his leg and had put some type of ointment on his leg and he was doing incredibly well. In fact she said she was going to bring him back to our backyard today to release him back to his surroundings. We were so happy to hear that everything was going to work out for this poor little black bird. Needless to say, that was our good deed for the day yesterday. I just wonder how we are going to top that one for today.

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          Recession is Here?

          I just read an article in the newspaper this morning that quoted our State's economist as saying that we are in a recession. Thank goodness they spelled that out for us, otherwise we would have been unsure what was going on with the economy. The Outlook, according tothe prognosticators, is that it will last to 2010. I am not quite sure how they figure out when it will be over, when they really couldn't predict when it would be here in the first place. I mean for them to come out and make the announcement today, I feel like we should have some type of celebration because someone stood up to the podium and formally made the proclamationfor all to hear. I think they couldhave been alittle more creative and belted it out from the capitol's steps on a megaphone,hear ye hear ye, the state is now officially in a recession so now you can all go home. Maybe wecould have gotten a day off for all the trouble they went to in announcing it in the newspaper and the fact that it came from an official representing the state. In fact, why don't we make it an official Holiday today and have it annually? It could be called Eyeore Day and each year we could take the time to reflect how bad things are. Myself, I prefer tobe an optimist, cause our business is up and we are beating the market. Maybe this recession thing isnot so badafter all. We have put a lot of people in homes in the last 3 and half months and that is a good thing.

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            Home Sales to Stabilize

            According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors there is little change expected in existing home sales over the next few months. Although they are predicting nationally that in the next couple of months there could be a sustained increase in home sales. This is quite interesting because we have already felt the increase in the first 3 months of this year. Our business has closed over 30% more than we did last year at this same time. People are purchasing and finally taking advantage of the surplus of inventory and low interest rates. Spring is in the air and people here are ready to get outside and make their dreams come true. Thank goodness that all real estate is local and I think we are starting to experience business heading in the right direction.

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              Flood Watch

              It is that time of year when we start keeping an eye on the lake level. When your city borders such a vast body of water as Lake Champlain, I guessit is only normal to do so. The lake level is currently around 99 feet which is considered quite high, although our expectations are that it will probably reach 101 feet within the next couple of days because of the melting snow and the rain. There is a flood watch in effect for those areas adjacent to rivers and large streams because of the amount of run off from the mountains that is taking place. I drove north on Interstate 89 this morningover the bridgein Winooski and the water was ferocious as it cascaded over the damn. People who have lakefront camps, cottages and homes are certainly keeping an eye on the water levels as well. It is spring here and between mud season, and all the potholes, flooding is just another thing we deal with while we wait for warmer weather.

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                Friends

                I was in a grocery store yesterday and I ran into my Economics professor from St. Michaels College. It's been 26 years since I had seen him and it was great. He is such a wonderful man who truly cares about the students he teaches. We had a great conversation about St. Mikes and he remembered that I played soccer there and we discussed the current state of affairs for the program etc. AfterI got back to my office,I e-mailed a friend of mine who I played soccer with and who attended class with me when he was so inclined back in the day in his class. We reminisced about some of the fun we had and my buddy forwarded my e-mail to some of our other friends, who I haven't heard from in years. This started a chain reaction with everyone weighing in on our Professor and some of the stupid things we used to do. It was great to hear from these guys and it made me think how lucky I have been to share some great experiences with such great people. Other than family, there is nothing more important than friendship. It's funny without the Internet, this wouldn't have been possible. Technology has come so far, and so have me and my friends.

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                  Rake Your Yard Now

                  If you live in Burlington and use the Intervale to dispose of your yard debris you better get your yard cleaned up this week. I just saw in the papera few days agothat the Intervale will no longer be accepting yard debris as of May 1st because they didn't get arequired permit renewed with the State. If I am correct the permit cost $300,000 which is real money. I think the article said the Chittenden Solid Waste Division was going to try to rectify the situation but only time will tell. I truly hope that something can get done, because they provide a great service to the citizens of Burlington. Additionally, they will not be able to accept any type of food composting as well which is huge because many restaurants use their facility to compost food scraps etc. Vermonters are very aware of the positive effects of recycling, and composting on our environment, and the Intervale provides us an opportunity to make a small difference in our community. I hope that things get straightened out real soon at the Intervale, but if not, start raking your yard this week and get it to the Intervale while you still can.

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                    Play Ball

                    It is that time of year where the boys of summer have started to hone their throwing, catching and hitting the baseball skills. In fact they have been practicing for about 3 weeks now albeit inside because of the snow on the ground, but nevertheless they are doing what they love. My son is a freshman in High School and he just made the junior varsity team which he is very excited about. He has loved playing the game since he was five. Now ten years later he is just as enthusiastic as he was when he started. Our life evolves around baseball from now until mid October when fall ball will end. During the summer I coach a 14 -15 year old babe ruth team which he is on. I have been coaching him and hisfriends for the last 10 years and this summer will probably be my last to coach him because next year he will be playing legion baseball. It has been an incredible opportunity that I have had with my son and some of his best friends through the years. I have enjoyed the time thoroughly and I hope I have positively impacted the lives of all my boys that I have coached. I am somewhat melancholy whenI think about it being close to over, but I will cherish the memories for a lifetime. I will never forget him hitting his first home run, the time he hit a double in a critical all star game and scored one of the winning runs to advance us to the championship game which we won. I will always remember his last little league all star game when he hit two doubles and hita two run homer for 5 rbis that day. Or the time in fall ball when his knuckle ball was dancing like Wakefield's and the other team couldn't figure him out. Oh so many more memories that make it all so worth it. It is so good to be a coach and involved with all thekids.But most importantly,it's so really good to be just plain ol'Dad.

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                      Northeast's Sales Lead U.S.

                      There was an article recently in our local newspaper that shows what the real estate markets are doing across the country, and it shows that the Northeast is faring far better than the other regions. In fact home prices plunged to record levels in January as foreclosures took their toll. In our area, we are seeing a stabilization of prices and we feel that the bottom may be here. Activity for the first quarter has been brisk and we are seeing more and more people being realistic in pricing their homes for sale. We are encouraged by these signs and are predicting that we will close out more inventory this year than last as long as inflation doesn't get the best of usandinterest rates rise.

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                        Extra Cash Anyone?

                        What would you do with an extra$1,000 or $2,000 a month or more? Would it improve the quality of your life and make it easier to plan for retirement? Would it make it easier to pay your bills? Of course it would. How couldn't it? There are many people out there who have taken advantage of the services that I offer to help them reach these goals and more. Passive income from rental properties is real and is a great way to increase your net worth and provide you with a steady stream of income month after month. Now is the time to consider investing in real estate when there are plenty of investment properties to choose from, the interest rates are low, and sellers are motivated to make deals happen. It is important to not enter into the investment world with rose color glasses.It is even more important to have someone on your side to protect your interest. If you don't have experience on your side, then you risk not getting the best possible deal that you could get. If you would like to find out how you can make money in the real estate market, give me a call. I can help your dreams come true too.

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